An understanding of the rich Classical past gives students a keen lens through which to view the modern world, since so many issues confronting us were experienced and discussed with great insight by the ancients: abuses of political power and the rise of demagogues; questions of cultural identity; the problematic nature of empire and colonialism; the nature-nurture debate; the plight of refugees and asylum seekers; among others.
Knowledge of Latin and Greek as well as of the complex natures of Greek and Roman cultures also develops skills in intellectual rigour, critical analysis, and self-expression – all highly prized qualities in the job market today.
More fundamentally, Classics brings students into contact with some of the greatest and most enduring creations in literature, art, and philosophy that the world has ever known.
Our internationally regarded Classics staff include recipients of prestigious visiting fellowships to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, UC Teaching Awards, and internal and external research awards. Books and journal articles by Classics staff include studies of Greek drama, Greek and Roman history, ancient religion, rhetoric, and early Latin prose, as well as an exhibition catalogue for the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities. Classics staff and students regularly present at conferences all over the world, as well as giving research seminars and public lectures in Aotearoa New Zealand and elsewhere, often by invitation.
Based on its research culture, the UC Classics Department is committed to fostering an energetic postgraduate community. Students attend our research seminars that feature a range of local and international speakers, and frequently participate in the symposia and conferences hosted by the department.
In 2017, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury moved parts of Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts back into the city centre, reconnecting itself with Ōtautahi Christchurch and its residents. A great asset of the UC Classics Department is its collection of artefacts from Greece, Rome, and elsewhere, known as the James Logie Memorial Collection, and now housed in the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in the historic Te Matatiki Toi Ora | Christchurch Arts Centre along with the department itself.
For the completion of a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Classics, knowledge of Latin and/or Greek is not necessary but is highly recommended. Such knowledge enables students to engage with the primary material in more insightful and sophisticated ways, especially for ancient dramatic, literary, or historical texts, as well as archaeological/art historical topics (eg, inscriptions, graffiti, etc).
Students studying Classics at postgraduate level can look to an academic career or a teaching career in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. Many of our former postgraduate students are now working in banks, government, intelligence, and many other jobs that require high levels of analytical skills, self-discipline, and passion for learning.
Old Chemistry Building, Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800